Are You a Blue Collar or White Collar Developer? —

November 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm 3 comments

Interesting piece (particularly the comment stream) related to a theme in this blog — that students want a job, and how do we teach them about things they ought to know about even if they don’t recognize that they need it.

“You see, I didn’t want to waste my time having to learn about philosophy and political science. I just cared about writing code. Period. All that other stuff would have been worthless… in my humble opinion.”

via Are You a Blue Collar or White Collar Developer? —

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iList: An intelligent tutor for linked lists The role of debate in learning

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ian Bogost  |  November 23, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Here’s a choice comment:

    Getting a technical education at a 4-year school is like pulling teeth, because the professors are really there for the grant money. The most important thing I learned was how to read a manual.


  • 2. beki70  |  November 24, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Fascinating… I have long thought that software development is a fasinating hybrid, confusing traditional descriptions of labor. I’d probably say that it’s neither blue or white collar readily, it doesn’t fit well, but it requires elements of both. The visions of “good software development” are influenced by processes and innovations that come from both blue and white collar notions of work and coordination. Additionally cultural facets of the work also come from both. So perhaps its not entirely surprising that the accounts of education get bound into this debate also. But, I would say that education is only a piece of the equation, process execution, the work culture, etc… also add to and potential reconfigure the equation of whether and if so how software practice is blue and white collar. Making it just about your education makes it something that is too static an explanation.

  • 3. Erik Engbrecht  |  November 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    The exchange doesn’t really hit anything interesting. Wow, a programmer thinks random humanities classes are a waste of time. Shocking!!!

    The discussion would be more interesting if it touched the more science (or maybe math) side of CS. I think there’s a lot of people who want to avoid that as well. How does computational theory help me write code? Discrete math?


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